Tuesday, March 31, 2009

IT' IN THE BAG! WEEKLY GUEST FOOD REVIEW (03/31/09)

From the Weekly Mailer's -What’s For Dinner?

It’s In The Bag!

In this day and age we all seem so busy. Work, shuttling children to their next event, running errands, household chores, before long- our day can get away from us. Our food habits sometimes suffer from this wave of busyness. Case in point, on a busy work day at lunch time, I walked into a fast food restaurant that I wasn’t familiar with. The place was busy with people, just like myself who needed to refuel with a quick bite to eat. As I stood in line, I took a deep breath and looked around. The employees looked frazzled and the patrons equally so. Staring at the menu on the wall, nothing seemed to entice me, but I knew I needed to eat. It was easy to see that most of those waiting for their order had other places to be and, like myself, were simply trying to get their food and be on their way. Some days are like that. If everyday is like that then that’s another story! Breakfast, lunch, or dinner are the little moments that should be savored, even under time restraints. It’s good to remember that we are not just feeding that empty part in our tummies but utilizing our sense of smell, taste and sight. It really helps when a restaurant can appeal to all of those qualities. A week later, I found myself walking into another restaurant, at the same busy lunch time. I was greeted by the friendly staff, cozy fireplace and an inviting menu. This time, I drew in a deep breath and felt quite relaxed. When I looked around, I saw patrons smiling in conversation and with that I placed my order to stay rather than to go. I knew that when it came taking a breather and getting a good lunch, this one had it in the bag!

Places to Visit:

Gonzo’s/ Bent Bean
2101 Overland Avenue, Burley
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 6 a.m. -8 p.m./ Fri. 6 a.m. -10 p.m./ Sat. 7 a.m. -10 p.m./ Sun. 7 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Take Out: 878-SUBS
Fax: 878-SUBS (Call before faxing an order)


Located within Mr. Gas, Gonzo’s and Bent Bean have recently combined to provide both delicious coffee and yummy subs all in one spot. The warm and modern decor is welcoming, while the glowing fireplace and couches invite you to hang out a while. Ordering a sub is a fun process in which brown lunch bags are preprinted with different sandwiches such as a Turkey, Bacon and Ham Club, to a Chicken Curry served on Honey Wheat bread, priced at $4.25. Build it the way you like it by checking off options that include six types of cheeses and spreads, as well as several choices of mustards and vegetable toppings. The deli meats are hand cut and the bread for the subs are made on the premises. Add a side order like a hot bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup or Chips for $1.00. The beverage menu is quite diverse and features choices of Latte, Espresso, Tazo Herbal Teas, Steamed Cider, several flavors of Hot Chocolate and Smoothies. The Smoothies are made with real fruit puree and if you don’t order whipped cream and sprinkles on top, then they are fairly low in calories as well. Smoothies are priced at $3.85 for a Grande. Save room to check out their baked goods which may tempt you with rich, fudge brownies, oatmeal cookies, croissants, scones, and muffins. The food is quite tasty and with your Kick Back Card your eleventh specialty drink is on the house! Once ordering is completed, find a seat or cozy up to the couch and break out your laptop as they have Wi-Fi. Read from one of the magazines found on the coffee table or request a game such as Candyland or Jenga from one of the friendly employees. Sampler coffees are usually available for tasting and they also sell specialty coffee and tea by the bag and unique gift items as well. Live Coffee House Music events are held from time to time so call ahead to find out when the next one is scheduled. If your pressed for time that’s okay, just head to the drive through!

**BEHIND THE SCENE**
I went back to Gonzo’s / Bent Bean a second time and ordered a cup of Tortilla-Chicken soup for $1 and a Blueberry Scone. The soup comes in a small to go cup with some crackers and I have to say it was really delicious! The base of the soup was very creamy and had bits of corn, blackbean, and chunks of Chicken. The small serving was actually very filling and hit the spot. The Scone was dense and rich. I washed it all down with a sampler of their Coconut coffee which was free. The whole thing set me back about $3.50.

Monday, March 30, 2009

TURNOVERS!

Try this delicious recipe that your whole family will love! These turnovers really help out as a snack, quick lunch or even as party fare. They are simple to make and can be filled with anything you want! Hot Pockets- you got nothing on me!

First Step: Dough

Mix 1 cup flour with 1 teaspoon baking soda and slowly add dashes of cold water until clumps of dough starts to form. Don't add too much water. Get your hands in there and work it into a ball. Lay it out on a floured counter and roll until flat. Cut little circles using a cup. Take the little circles of dough and roll them out thinner.



Second Step: Filling

Add a tablespoon of filling to the center of the circle. In this case, the filling consists of Chorizo sausage, scrambled eggs, black beans and Mozzarella cheese. My family loves when I use left-over stew or apple pie filling!




Third Step: Fold

Fold over dough and make little folds where the ends meet. This doesn't really need to be completely sealed although the less openings the better. They also do not need to be perfect!




Fourth Step: Fry and Serve!

In a frying pan add about 1 1/2 cup of Canola Oil and set the heat to just below medium. In about 5 minutes test the oil by dropping in a tiny piece of dough. If it sizzles then the oil is ready. Gently add a couple turnovers to the oil. When they begin to become golden, turn them over and let them cook on the other side. Remove and place on a plate with paper towel. They really don't absorb much of the oil and the dough is almost the texture of a pizza crust. In the microwave they reheat from frozen in about 2 minutes!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

APRIL CELEBRATIONS!

For my family, the month of April is filled with celebration! Two very special birthdays occur this month as well as Easter, April Fool's day, and the promise of Spring! Starting with April Fool's Day, it seems as though playing tricks on people is the last thing on my mind. But I do have a favorite trick that was played about 9 years ago. I was pregnant at the time and in the very early morning hours I began to have an absolutely terrible back ache. I climbed out of bed and awoke my mother, who was visiting at the time. She was concerned for me and even more so when my water broke! Luckily, I had a packed overnight bag prepared for this very moment! We soon awoke my husband from a sound sleep and informed him that the baby was coming. In his sleepy state, he looked rather confused and wasn't sure if it was an April Fool's joke or not. By the time my next contraction came, he soon realized it was no joke! Not long after that, my son came into the world, born on the first day of April and blessing us with his wonderful sense of humor!

KITCHEN CALENDAR- APRIL

APRIL 1st

April Fool's Day: Time to Mess With Your Family's Head!

Salty Surprise
Put salt on your kid's toothbrush. Watch the look on their face.


Big Foot
Stuff some cotton into the toes of the victim's shoes. They will think their feet grew or their shoes got smaller.


Fake Test
For Students: Before class, ask one of your classmates if they are “ready for the big test?” Works best to have another friend confirm that there is indeed a test that day.

Car Chaos
Sneak into the victim’s car and adjust the radio to full volume, wipers on high, air conditioning on max setting, seats pushed forward and reclined all the way back.

You Can't Fool Me!
Take a pen or marker that's washable and put a mark on your face that everyone can see. When they say you have a mark on your face, tell them that you're not falling for it and that they're just pulling your leg by saying you have a mark on your face. When they prove to you that you have a mark on your face, shout, "April Fool's!"
(The same idea works with spinach in your front teeth!)


From Me to You!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

RECIPE - Yummy Stuffed Donuts!

When it comes to a party on a budget, it pays to be creative. Store bought cakes can get quite expensive. Homemade cake can be a nice touch although we don't aways have the time. A simple solution can be utilizing donuts from your local grocery store!

Stuffed Donuts

1 dozen Chocolate glazed donuts
1 gallon favorite ice cream

Gently slice the donuts almost through, so that the top can be separated from the bottom- creating a flap. Scoop up some ice cream and place in the center of the flap.

If the Stuffed Donuts are for a child's party, let the children decorate their own with assorted candy and piped frosting! With a dozen donuts going for about $4.00, and ice cream around $5.00, it's easy and a money saver!

Tiramisu Donuts

For those with more discerning taste buds, serve up Tiramisu Donuts for dessert!

1 dozen Chocolate glazed donuts
1 gallon Vanilla Bean ice cream
1 bottle chocolate syrup
3 tablespoon Vanilla
2 cup brewed Coffee (can use decaffeinated)
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 large container Cool Whip
1 quarter cup instant coffee granules
Cinnamon


Mix two cups of coffee with Vanilla and sugar. Gently slice the donuts so that the top can be completely separated from the bottom. Drizzle the bottom halves of donuts with coffee mixture reserving a quarter of a cup for later. Add a scoop of ice cream to the center and cover with the top half of the donut. Mix remainder of coffee with chocolate syrup. Drizzle chocolate syrup over donuts. Add a dollop of Cool Whip and sprinkle lightly with coffee granules and cinnamon.

What goes better with coffee than donuts?

"ROSE TIPS" The Birthday Game


On birthdays, we play a little game based on the game show "Let's Make A Deal". For each present the child gets, we send them out of the room while we set up the living room with a blanket over their present and two other "hoax" presents (such as a box of salt or a pair of their own shoes) covered in a blanket as well. Then we call the children and in our best game show voices ask them to choose behind "curtain" one, two, or three. After they make their choice we ask them if they would like to stay with that choice or trade it in for another curtain. It's really fun when they choose the curtain that contains the silly stuff and eventually they always get to the real prize- their actual birthday present! Why not incorporate your childs favorite game into the birthday celebration? It will be a ton of fun and also helps them appreciate their gift!

"ROSE TIPS" Special Occasion Menus!

With money tight and two birthdays this month, one of the special things I do for my kids is ask them help me create a wish list of what they would like for their birthday dinner. I assure them that it can be anything they want (within reason). Once I know what they would like, I design a special "Birthday Menu" which is posted on the refrigerator! This helps save a little money by eating at home, creates anticipation for that day and lets them know how special they are!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

ALL IN GOOD TIME!

It makes sense that one’s body combined with a harmonious environment can cause a good flow. If a nice external environment can influence our well being then how might we be affected by the environment that we create within our body? With such fast paced life-styles, good practice in what we eat often becomes secondary. This can reflect in increased fatigue and obesity. The common thread of Chi is that there is a time and place for all things. If we brought that standpoint into our diets, we would see that within each change of season comes a change in our eating habits. For instance, during Winter months, we may crave heavier meals such as stews which seem to warm us from the inside. Into the Summer months we may desire more fruits and veggies for a cooling effect. Since we are entering Spring, this can represent a new eating cycle where heavy, warming foods are replaced by cleansing and revitalizing foods. One way to move within the flow of the season is to decrease in slow cooking techniques and move to steaming or stir frying our meals. Another approach for Spring is to not cook portions of our meals at all and incorporate more raw veggies and fruits into our dinners. See below for a yummy and healthy meal!

Refreshing Asian Salad

2-3 clusters of Rice Noodles (found in the Asian food section of any grocery store)
½ head of green or purple cabbage-thinly sliced
1 cup uncooked baby spinach
1 cup diced or shredded carrots
2 cups steamed shrimp (or) cooked and diced chicken breast
1/4 cup diced green onion
¼ cup chopped nuts (peanuts, cashews, walnuts, or almonds)
(Sauce)
¼ cup tomato paste
4 tablespoons Hoisen sauce (or) apricot, orange, pear, raspberry or apple jam
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
A sprinkle of Ginger and Garlic powder
A dash of hot sauce (if desired)


Add clusters of Rice noodles to 6 cups boiling water. Boil for about 5- 8 minutes or until tender. Drain water and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. In a separate container, mix all the ingredients for the sauce and toss with the noodles. Combine cabbage, spinach, carrots and shrimp (or chicken) with the noodles. Top with green onion and chopped nuts. Chill until ready to serve.


**TWO MEALS FROM ONE!**
Nothing helps out a busy cook like the idea of simplicity. Save money and time by using leftovers. After making the Refreshing Asian Salad, try the following recipe for a worry free dinner the next night.


Simple Rice Noodle Soup

8 Chicken or Beef Bouillon Cubes
1-2 Cups leftover Refreshing Asian Salad


Bring 6 cups water to a boil with Bouillon Cubes. Turn heat down to a simmer. Add the leftover Asian Salad-noodles and all! Let simmer until all ingredients become nice and hot. Serve! The flavors of the salad completely change within the warm broth!

KITCHEN CALENDAR- MARCH

-Declutter Spice Rack-
Old Spice may be a nice scent on a man, but it is never something we should achieve in the kitchen!

-Clean out Fridge-
Still have remnants of Christmas in the fridge? Out with the old, in with the new!

"ROSE TIPS" -Cleaning With Vinegar


-Cleaning-

Distilled White Vinegar
This great cleaning solution can be found right in your pantry! A big bottle goes for about $3. Save or invest in spray bottles and add 1/3 part Distilled White Vinegar and the rest with water. Keep a bottle under every sink. Without chemicals and at a fraction of the cost of most cleaning products, it disinfects and cleans most surfaces, including windows!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

IDAHO'S NOT THE ONLY STATE THAT LOVES POTATOES!!!

TEXAS POTATO SALAD

From Amarillo to El Paso, I’ve been through little diners across Texas. Talking to waitresses and locals, learning many interesting things. I’ve found that lots of people from that region use left-over mashed potatoes to make delicious potato salad! With a little experimenting, I’ve found that it saves a whole lot of time and stretches a potato into several meals. If I am making home-made mashed potatoes, there are four things that I always do. 1.) Leave the skin on the potatoes (extra taste and nutrition). 2.) Salt the boiling water really good. 3.) Never add the potatoes until the water starts boiling (otherwise the spuds soak up too much water and lose flavor). 4.) Always double the batch! Extra mashed potatoes in the fridge can be a very convenient way to make an entirely different meal the next night. Here’s how:

4-5 cups left over mashed potatoes (cold)
3 boiled eggs
1/2 diced red onion
2 cups celery
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoon relish
1/4 cup dill pickle juice
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
½ cup bread crumbs (or) crushed potato chips


Dice celery, onions and egg whites into small pieces. In a separate container add mayo, egg yoke, relish, pickle juice, sugar, mustard and blend until creamy. Add the diced onion and celery into the blend and mix. Take the left over mashed potatoes and gently break it up, then slowly incorporate the blend into the potatoes. Toss gently until well coated. Smooth over the top and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Tasty!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fantasy Food Review -Ireland!

(If I had the chance, this is where I would go on St. Patty's Day and how I imagine it!)

Moran's Oyster Cottage
The Weir, Kilcogan, Co. Galway
Tel: +353 91 796113Fax: +353 91 796503
http://www.moransoystercottage.com

After walking the beautiful little City of Galway, the breeze off of the Bay reminds my stomach that it is time to eat! Everything wonderful that I've heard about Moran’s Oyster Cottage gets me excited! Since Moran’s has been around for over 250 years they have a bevy of International titles in Oyster Opening Competitions as well as the BIM Seafood Circle Award, 2006. Not to mention the famous people that have wandered through their doors such as Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Woody Allen, though probably not all at the same time! Tightening my wool sweater, I realized that it's chilling off so I hop into my tiny rental car and head about 20 minutes around Galway Bay to Kilcogan. From the outside, Moran's is a quaint thatched roof cottage and the inside is warm and inviting, a great place to snuggle into. Thankfully, I was given a seat by a window. Why is it that being near water always makes one so hungry? I start by ordering a Baked Goat Cheese Salad. Carving into the gooey and tangy goat cheese, mixed with fresh greens really gets my taste buds going! Of course, I order a half dozen (who am I kidding? It was a whole dozen.), of the famous Galway Bay Oysters on the half shell and they are soon brought with lemon wedges and thick brown bread and butter for dipping. The Oysters are salty and creamy all at the same time and such a wonderful joy to slurp from their shells in between chunks of the hearty brown bread. Belly full and with slight hesitation, I tighten my sweater once more in anticipation of the windy evening I would be stepping into.

SUNSETS (2009)

Irish Colcannon

  • 2 1/2 lbs of floury potatoes with skin on,
  • boiled together with 1 small head of chopped green cabbage or kale,
  • then mashed until fluffy with 1 cup milk,
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions,
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • salt and pepper to taste.

"Irish Colcannon"

Did you ever eat Colcannon, When t'was made with yellow cream,
And the kale and the praties blended, Like the picture in a dream?
Did you ever take a forkful, And dip it in the lake,
Of heather-flavoured butter, That your mother used to make?

Weekly Guest Food Review (03/17/2009)

What’s For Dinner?

Magically Delicious!


St. Patrick’s Day is a day that people wear green to represent the lushness of Ireland and it is also when we, here in Idaho, can celebrate by reflecting on similarities that we share with the Emerald Isle. Each year, many Americans associate corned beef and cabbage as traditional Irish fare. Though cabbage has long been an Irish food, corned beef only began to be associated with St. Patrick's Day at the turn of the century, when Irish immigrants living on New York City's Lower East Side saved money by substituting corned beef for their traditional dish of Irish bacon. Long before this, was the stronger association between Ireland and the potato. As early as the 1590’s, it became common for poor Irish families to rent between 1 and 10 acres of land for a season of growing potatoes. This gave families the opportunity to pay their rent, build a cottage and feed themselves in the process. The Irish were one of the first to seriously consider the potato as a staple food and used it as a centerpiece for their winter diet from August to March. With such a long standing history of the cultivation of potatoes, the Irish created many mouthwatering delicacies such as potato soup, potato-apple pudding and Colcannon; a simple and traditional dish of 2 1/2 lbs of floury potatoes with skin on, boiled together with 1 small head of chopped green cabbage or kale, then mashed until fluffy with 1 cup milk, 2 tablespoons chopped green onions, 1/2 stick butter and salt and pepper to taste. In the old days, Irish rural folk often placed a wedding ring in the Colcannon and the first single person to find (hopefully not digest) the ring would marry within the year. Poems and songs were sung in it’s honor such as: Did you ever eat Colcannon, When t'was made with yellow cream, And the kale and the praties blended, Like the picture in a dream? Did you ever take a forkful, And dip it in the lake, Of heather-flavoured butter, That your mother used to make? Idaho and Ireland share the commonality of beautiful landscapes, hardworking people and potatoes that are magically delicious!

Village of Trees RV Resort- Travel Stop 216
274 Highway 25, Declo
Winter Hours: 7 a.m.- 9 p.m./ Summer Hours: 6 a.m.-10 p.m.
Take out: 654-2133
Website: www.villageoftreesrvresort.com


You need not book a trip to Ireland when a mini-getaway can be found at the Village of Trees Travel Stop. At first glance it seems as an unassuming gas station, but step inside and order up a Loaded Idaho Baked Potato with sour cream, mozzarella, cheddar, bacon bits, onions and butter for just $2.49. Enjoy a bowl of homemade chili or soup of the day at $2.99. Big juicy hot dogs, polish sausage, or Bratwurst are available at $1.49, each. The menu doesn’t stop there as they also serve made to order pizzas which range from $4.99 for a small combination to $11.99 for a large combo. While waiting for your order take a look around at the gift shop which features Idaho Potato wrapping paper, soap and even spud salt and pepper shakers! A very delicious and creative dessert on the menu is an Ice Cream Potato, which consists of home-style vanilla ice cream rolled into cocoa powder, nestled on drizzles of chocolate syrup and topped with whipped cream, nuts and Oreo cookie crumbs at $3.29. Don’t miss this dessert! Find your booth inside or when the weather warms up, sit amongst the trees at the picnic tables out back. Enjoy the nature or your lap top as Wi-Fi is available throughout the park. If you are finding it hard to leave, don’t worry, make reservations to stay in a cabin, RV or tent. If staying on the premises you will find more hidden treasures such as a walking trail along the Snake River, a fish pond stocked with rainbow trout, swimming pool, volleyball court and hot tub.

**BEHIND THE SCENE**

The people who work here are really nice. After all my pigging out, I went to the counter to pay and noticed my debit card was missing from my wallet. I don't carry cash, nor checks and keep a credit card in a block of ice at home! I finally realized that my husband used my card the prior day before he went out of town. I called my husband and sure enough he had my card, in Nebraska! The young man who worked there really made me feel like this just happens everyday and even took the info over the phone and was able to process my tab. As you can imagine, I went straight home and grabbed the ice pick!

Weekly Guest Food Review (03/10/2009)

What’s For Dinner?

A Toothless Grin

Today is the day for an important lunch appointment. Glancing at my watch and with butterflies in my stomach I head down the hall to the secretaries office. Trying to avoid illusive stares and clicking echo of my heels on the floor, I greet the secretary and sign in. Kindly, I am given directions to the dining area and handed a name sticker which must be visible on my lapel in order to gain access. Taking a seat, the rush of customers file past me with inquisitive looks until I finally see that familiar, toothless grin of the eight-year old that my date is with. Yep, I’m having a school lunch and no doubt, the ambience of this meal is nostalgic to say the least. With green tray in hand and after instructions to line up on specific colored tiles, my dining partner and I navigate through our choices. He is the expert here and I am grateful for his advice. Following his lead , I am advised on which flavor of milk to choose, then we head over and grab our meal, which on this day consists of Tacos. There are several salad dressings to choose from, with salad and veggies to boot! The seating is community style. Surrounded by the familiar faces of little tykes, it’s time to get down to the business of nourishment, but also socializing. With the buzz of many conversations and at such a fast pace, its hard to keep up. I feel lucky to have this moment and share in this daily ritual of a hot-lunch that many children experience. The food seemed to be seasoned with reminiscent times and the company shared was priceless. Fact of the matter; parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles can all find this to be a nice way to keep up in the lives of the children around us. The local schools welcome this interaction and both Cassia and Minidoka County school districts make it easy to have an affordable breakfast or lunch with your child. With the last bite of my cookie and while politely declining invitations for tether ball, I realized this “power lunch” was a perfect success- it was obvious from my son’s smile!

Cassia County Joint School District
237 E 19th St Burley, ID 83318
Food Service Department: 878-6626
www.sd151.k12.id.us

Monthly breakfast and lunch menus are supplied online or found at the school. This month features several items from, kids favorite- Pizza, to Popcorn Chicken with Dipping Sauce. Within this website, parents can track and pay for school lunches as well. Elementary school meal prices are as follows: Student Breakfast- Free, Adult Breakfast- $1.80, Student Reduced Lunch- $0.40, Student Elementary Lunch- $1.40, and Adult Lunch- $3.00.

Minidoka County Joint School District
633 Fremont Ave
Rupert, ID 83350
Food Service Department: 436-3625
www.minidokaschools.org

Monthly breakfast and lunch menus are supplied online or found at the school. This month features items from Spaghetti with Meat Sauce to Turkey Gravy and Mashed Potatoes. Elementary school meal prices are as follows: Student Breakfast- Free, Adult Breakfast- $1.35, Student Reduced Lunch- $0.40, Student Elementary Lunch-$1.35, and Adult Lunch - $2.55.

**Tid-Bit** It may help to call the respective school ahead of time and let the managers know so they can plan accordingly. All visitors must sign in at the office first.

**BEHIND THE SCENE**

The Taco I sampled was a soft taco of ground beef and cheese with a wheat tortilla. It made me feel good to see that the tortilla was wheat. The meal came with rice, corn and salad. I basically put all of those ingredients into the tortilla to make one "super stuffed" taco. The M & M cookie was yummy, but I really think they should give the adults two!

Weekly Guest Food Review (03/03/2009)

What’s For Dinner?

Roll up your sleeves

As a teenager who enjoyed extra pocket money, I looked forward to being introduced into the workforce. Like many folks before me, it soon came time that I had to roll up my sleeves and find an after school job. From my freshman year and beyond I was afforded wide and varied work experiences, trying everything from being a life-guard to making pizzas. One of my most memorable experiences came in an unusual way. A favorite hang out was a little “mom and pop” hamburger joint right across the street from my house. This was a tiny place and seated, at the most, about 20 people, but that didn’t stop a line from forming. The owners were friendly but most of all busy, working together like a well-oiled machine. They made a burger that I was especially fond of and the moment I walked through the door it was obvious what I was going to order, as I could never find the will power to try anything else on the menu. This was a sure thing and as predictable as my order; so were the owners in the care they showed to their customers. With the sweet sound of a tapped bell, my order was up and within moments my hands would be gripped around a hot messy burger that one wouldn’t dare to set down until it was entirely devoured. Stomach satisfied (for the time being), and ten napkins later, I asked for a job application. Perhaps, because they could see in my eyes a soul that truly appreciated their edible works or because they couldn’t get rid of me- I was hired. That summer I tried my hand as a fry cook and learned its not so easy being on the other end of the counter. Despite the hot grill, long hours and endless orders, I never tired of the end product itself. This was especially true when walking home after my shift, warm to-go bag tucked securely under my arm. That was many years ago and the last time I visited my home town I noticed the little burger shop was no longer there. Just as they have moved on- so have I, but never so far away that I have forgotten the mouthwatering taste of my favorite burger or the hardworking people who made them.

Places To Visit:

Main Street Burger
333 West Main Street, Burley
Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday 6:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m./ Breakfast served until 11:00 a.m.
Take-Out: 678-3020


Aptly named for its location on Main Street, this burger joint serves up several choices of burgers, fries and sandwiches that are not only tasty but with portion sizes that are out of control! Owners of Main Street Burger, Evan and Iris are the heart and soul of this family operated business. As Idaho natives, they make efforts to buy all ingredients locally. Roll up your sleeves and try a customer favorite, the Pastrami Burger for $3.95, or the Mushroom Swiss Burger - $3.95, which literally spills out of the bun, especially when you splurge and order thick country bacon and Jalepeno peppers to top it off! For the kids, Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers are a great deal for just $2.95. All burgers and sandwiches can be upgraded to a combo that will include a soft drink of your choice, a big basket of perfectly cooked fries and luckily plenty of napkins! Although burgers are the “meat” of their business they also serve up a mean breakfast such as Biscuits and Gravy for $2.89 or a Combo consisting of 2 pancakes, 1 egg and choice of meat for $3.89.

**Behind The Scene**
The burger I loved back then was indeed a Mushroom, Bacon and Swiss burger!

Weekly Guest Food Review (02/24/2009)

What’s For Dinner?

History


Beginning earlier this month with the educational event National History Day and followed by President’s Day on February 16th, honoring those who have historically contributed what they have learned helps us navigate into the future. From a culinary standpoint, what a President enjoyed eating lends fascinating input to a personal side of our country’s leaders that is little known. Our nation’s first president, George Washington seemed to preferred simple meals over fancy ones and is often associated with cherries. It is documented that he did, indeed, love cherries, but also enjoyed a wide variety of fruits, nuts and fish. John F. Kennedy was said to be a small eater and often had to be reminded when it was dinner time. Lunch was more of this President’s style as he was often described as a "soup, sandwich and fruit" man. The soup he was particularly fond of was a New England Fish Chowder. Ronald Reagan seemed to have an affinity toward sweets and it was common knowledge that he loved jelly beans, but not just any jelly beans, his preference was the Jelly Belly brand. Although President George H.W. Bush was better known for his distaste of Broccoli, both he and his son, George W. Bush, had a leaning toward Tex-Mex cuisine. Mrs. Barbara Bush often made a recipe called the “Mexican Mound” which consisted of corn chips, ground meat and taco seasoning. We are just getting a peek at what our current president, Barack Obama, may enjoy as he has been known to order pizza quite often from a restaurant called the Italian Fiesta Pizzeria in Chicago. Our nation has had 44 presidents and each have varied in personality, style and accomplishments; but all share one thing in common--they had to eat!

Places To Visit:

Henry’s at the Drift Inn
545 F Street, Rupert
Weekend Dinner Reservations and Take Out: 436-1300
Hours: Lunch/ Mon.-Fri. 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Dinner/ Mon.-Sat. 5:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
Website: www.henrysdriftinn.com

Located at the heart of historic downtown Rupert and recipient of the 2008 Preservation Idaho Orchid Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation, Henry’s at the Drift Inn is the place to go for a unique and charming dining experience. Take a seat at the window and enjoy choosing lunch or dinner from a well thought out menu. The staff is more than happy to answer questions regarding any of their entrees or wine list. A crowd favorite on the lunch menu is a Southwest Chicken wrap and consists of a flour tortilla stuffed with spicy chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and black olives for $6.95. The Steak Sandwich is a flavorful 6 oz. New York strip steak grilled to order with pickles, red onion, tomato and lettuce atop a toasted bun at $8.95. Sandwiches come with your choice of soup of the day, salad, chips or fries. The dinner menu is diverse enough to satisfy many different tastes. From the 4 oz. seared Yellow Fin Tuna with onion-wasabi sauce at $12.95, to the slow roasted Prime Rib Dinner at $17.95, you just can’t go wrong. Dinner entrees come with your choice of soup or salad, bread, vegetable or pasta, and potato.

Weekly Guest Food Review (02/17/2009)

What’s For Dinner?

Love


Just because Valentine’s is over, why should the romance end? My romance with food began as a small child in the kitchen with my Grandmother. She was a simple woman whose small abode was always filled with visitors and family. My favorite place to be was right next to her in the kitchen where I became fascinated in the wonder of watching her tiny, well-worn hands delicately prepare exquisite and thoughtful meals. As she sang songs from her youth she sliced and diced, sautéed and filet. Not until I found myself in the kitchen as an adult did I realize that all of her culinary masterpieces where prepared on a very limited budget. It had never crossed my mind because every mouthful had been prepared with love. What is the connection between food and love? The evidence is all around us. Remember your first taste of cotton candy at the fair or a romantic candle-lit dinner? Perhaps even the gallon of Rocky Road ice cream when that date didn’t quite work out? In food there is a giving and a sharing mixed with a bit of the unknown. My romance with food and the people with whom I share it is an ongoing adventure in which I will always be opened minded, because I know that when inspired with love- anything is possible!

Places to Visit:
The Upper Crust Bakery & Grill/ Gossner’s Cheese Outlet Store
Location: 1200 7th Street, Heyburn
Pricing: $-$$


With a view of the river upstairs, share a gooey Grilled Cheese Panini with caramelized onions, or pick up your choice of freshly made cheese and French Bread below for a home style picnic.

Garibaldi’s
Location: 610 Overland Road, Burley
Pricing: $-$$


If you are into seafood, try a beautiful soup for two called Siete Mares. Filled with crab claws, shrimp, tender clams and a melt in your mouth fillet of fish. Steaming hot and served with your choice of flour or corn tortillas and a small platter of diced Jalapeno, Avocado, and Lime. Yum!

Dairy Queen
Location: 2200 Overland Avenue, Burley
Pricing: $


With an ice cream cake in hand , you just can’t go wrong!

**BEHIND THE SCENE**

The Siete Mares mentioned above is one of my favorite soups when I get a cold. One day while under the weather my husband and I decided to head to the restaurant. Since the soup is on the spicy side, my husband usually orders something a bit more tame. Rarely does sickness affect my big appetite, so even though this soup is big enough for two- possibly, three people to share, I ordered it for myself anyway. When the waitress set the bowl in front of me I noticed the gentleman at the opposite table staring at me. Well, I just set in on devouring this yummy soup, so much so that crab shells were a flyin! Finally after finishing every last drop, I noticed the gentleman and his wife coming towards us. When he arrived he informed us that they had a bet going and he thought I was not going to be able to finish it. Boy, was he wrong!